Many immigrants have been able to obtain a green card through the visa lottery. The lottery is part of the 1990 Immigration Act. It benefits people from many different countries.
After meeting certain requirements, immigrants from certain countries can join the lottery. Winners of the lottery are selected with random drawings. Most people refer to the program as the green card lottery. However, it’s actually called the “Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery”.
Candidates who have error free applications are more likely to have positive results. Contact Tucker, Nong and Associates for assistance pursuing the Diversity Visa Lottery. Your success is our top priority.
Who Qualifies for the Diversity Visa Lottery?
Every year, about 50,000 immigrants are chosen and given a green card. Before the drawings take place, officials divide the whole world into regions and make sure no region receives more than 7 percent of the green cards. There are other requirements that must be met.
Birthplace or Country
To be eligible for the visa lottery, individuals must be from a list of eligible countries. Fortunately, most countries are on the list, but there is a list of countries that aren’t eligible.
Currently, eligible countries include:
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- El Salvador
- Dominican Republic
Each year, based on how many immigrants each country sent to the United States, new countries are selected for the lottery. Officials must consider how many immigrants each country sent in proportion to the total size of their populations.
It’s important that anyone trying to enter the lottery ensures he or she can be lawfully considered a native of the eligible country. It’s not enough to just live in an eligible country.
Born in an Ineligible Country
Many immigrants are born in countries that are ineligible for the visa lottery. The good news is there are two major ways to overcome this issue:
Option 1: Have a spouse who was born in the eligible country. Individuals must claim their spouse’s birth country when entering the lottery. If chosen, your spouse needs to be eligible to enter the United States..
Option 2: The second option requires parents who were born in an eligible country. If your parents didn’t have a home in the country when you were born, there is a chance you can claim nativity in the country your parents are from.
Pursuing these options involved a complicated process and it is advised that you work with a licensed immigration lawyer.
To be eligible, lottery applicants must also have a high school diploma or equivalent, or they must’ve worked at a job in the last five years that requires at least two years of training or experience.
It’s useful to know that U.S. job offers aren’t necessary. However, visa lottery winners must be able to prove that they’ll be able to support themselves while in the United States.
Applying For the Visa Lottery
Immigrants from an eligible country must meet special criteria. Once the criteria are met, immigrants can submit an application to enter the lottery. However, each immigrant can submit only one application a year.
If an immigrant tries to submit more than one application, he or she will have all of their applications removed from the lottery. Applications can be submitted using the State Department’s website. Paper applications aren’t accepted, and applicants need to attach digital photos of eligible family members.
Each application isn’t held over to the year following the initial submission. Therefore, eligible immigrants will need to submit an application every year they want to enter the visa lottery. Every year, there is a new application period, which is the time to submit an application. In most cases, this period takes place during autumn.
Reviewing Your Application
To see if you’ve won, you must use the State Department website. Unfortunately, applicants aren’t notified when they’ve won the green card lottery, so they must check the State Department website.
Steps After Winning the Lottery
Winning the visa lottery doesn’t guarantee an immigrant will receive a green card. Each year, there are a finite number of green cards available, and the government always declares many more winners than there are green cards to give out.
This is why it’s very important to follow up immediately after winning. If you don’t get your interview in time, there is a chance that you won’t get a green card. The USCIS is very backed up, so all visa lottery winners need to act swiftly.
Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer
After winning the visa lottery, it’s best to hire an immigration attorney. Many lottery winners have difficulty proving that they will be able to support themselves financially.
Lottery winners must also prove that they’re truly eligible to enter the United States, which can be difficult with prior arrests or mental illnesses.
Having an experienced immigration lawyer will allow candidates to understand their options and how they should proceed with their case correctly.
How we can help you
All lottery winners should consider hiring an experienced immigration attorney. If you are interested in pursuing the Diversity Visa Lottery, or need immigration law advice after winning the lottery, contact Tucker, Nong and Associates our experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyers will be able to advise you how to move forward. Don’t wait, let us start helping you today.